August 30, 2002 - 411 Music: Songs for the Deaf Review
by Chris Bennett
Every year, at a secret location in the depths of Wyoming, music critics and sleazy industry types get together and take a vote to determine the years' "Next Nirvana". You know what I mean... The sorta-indie, sorta-commercial band that's supposed to resurrect the RAWK, and start this whole revolution, blah blah blah. Like the Hives are supposed to this year, or At The Drive-In last year. This usually generates a lot of excitement about some new artist, and makes it pretty much impossible for them to ever live up to all the hype. Well, Queens of the Stone Age were the 1998 model, and they followed the pattern pretty much to a T. No, they didn't kick off the massive Stoner Rock coup like they were supposed to... But they have succeeded in providing us with some pretty kickass rock records in a time when those are in frighteningly short supply. Their latest, Songs for the Deaf, is no exception.

The first thing I noticed about this record, which I've been admittedly geeked about for a while, is that the first track has what is easily the best song title of the year so far: You Think I Ain't Worth a Dollar, But I Feel Like a Millionaire. To boot, the song's pretty damn rocking. All the stuff you look for in a QOTSA record is present here... Killer guitar rock (the aforementioned Millionaire), catchy weirdness (No One Knows), and terrific, shout-along rock funkiness (Do It Again).

Josh Homme and Nick Oliveri, the creative core of Queens, are on top of their game here, as usual, and are joined this time out by singer Mark Lanegan (of Screaming Trees fame) and drummer Dave Grohl (yes, that Dave Grohl. Who better to man the skins for the "Next Nirvana" than the drummer for the old one?). At least for this record, QOTSA is a veritable Rock n' Roll A-Team, and they sound like it.

So, this record pretty much kicked my ass from one side of town to the other, then started all over again after I stopped crying. There aren't many bands left that adhere to the old-fashioned Sex, Drugs and Rock n' Roll credo like these guys do, and it's a HUGE breath of fresh air to put Songs For The Deaf on and get rocked like you're supposed to.

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